Dark foliage and flowers have been popular for quite a while. Heck, an entire book (Paul Bonine, Timber Press) features the darkest of the dark.
Of course, "black" is a bit subjective. Dark purple, dark brown, dark green. But dark is hot; plant breeders and marketers know it. Here’s a few things that have come out within the past couple of years…
Ball Horticulture’s new patented petunia ‘Black Velvet’ is all over the place, along with its cousins, Phantom and Pinstripe.
Bench card from Ball for use in garden centers. Odd choice of editorial photo for the "little black dress." Petunia’s cute enough, though.
Centaurea montana ‘Black Sprite’ is a new perennial from Sunny Border Nursery (marketed by Skagit Gardens). You may be familiar with the blue version (Knapweed, Mountain Bluets). I am, because it reseeds all over my stinkin’ garden. Maybe this one is better behaved.
I snapped this at the OFA Floriculture trade show in July. Love the black outline on the bud "scales."
A new ornamental eggplant certainly falls under the "black" category. This super-cute guy was in the "new plants" display at OFA also, but some dork had snatched the tag from the display. Let me know if you recognize it…
Meeestery eggplant has nice flowers and foliage, too. Until the flea beetles come.
There are so many wonderful ornamental peppers out there – all easy to grow from seed. Most are pretty hot (pop a ‘Black Pearl’ some time for a thrill). From the U.K. breeding company Vegetalis comes the F1 hybrid pepper ‘Chenzo’.
Like ‘Black Pearl’, the fruit change from black to deep red as they ripen. It’s also hot as blue blazes, with a Scoville rating of 45,000 shu.